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Parents surfing Shaadi supermarket

PARENTS OF eligible bachelors in Lucknow are increasingly depending on IT tools for selecting the right spouse for their children.

india Updated: Apr 30, 2006 00:16 IST

PARENTS OF eligible bachelors in Lucknow are increasingly depending on IT tools for selecting the right spouse for their children.

Welcome to the interesting world of the ‘Great Indian  matrimonial supermarket’.  While “artificial intelligence” would be too early a phenomenon for computers to make near-perfect matches of eligible brides and grooms at an offline matrimonial service centre, well-managed databases of thousands of eligible bachelors have already started drawing attention of the city’s elders who are eager to get their children married through state-of-art “match-making centres” which recently opened shop in Lucknow.

Care for some more interesting facts? A Shaadi.com survey in Lucknow held recently found that of the 25 lakh population of the city, as registered in government records, about 53 per cent of the youth were found to be of marriageable age! Shaadi.com is considered one of the largest matrimonial service portals in the world.

“Marriages are an expensive proposition these days if one is looking for a decent ceremony to be held in Lucknow. The minimum cost of a decent marriage conducted in Lucknow among the upper middle-class families is in the range of Rs 15-Rs 20 lakh,” Umanng Sharma, Zonal Head (North) Shaadi Point—a division of Shaadi.com, told HT Lucknow Live.

He said Shaadi.com has set up two ‘Shaadi Point’ centres in Lucknow where the visitors are parents of children of  marriageable age who find technology an easier option to get the best match for their children.

“So far, 700 marriages in Uttar Pradesh have been solemnized following match-making made at Shaadi Point centers. Of these about 30 per cent of marriages were held in Lucknow . The educational background of all those who got married through the matchmaking service provided at Shaadi Point centres across the state had been Post Graduate degree holders,” Sharma said.

An interesting aspect of the off-line business models such as Shaadi Point is that there is a full-fledged astrological service available for the “kundli matching” through consultations with the eminent astrologer Bejan Daruwalla.

“The Indian marriage market size is in excess of Rs 50,000 crore in India with about 70 per cent of the match making business concentrated in north India,” he said.

Only 8 per cent of the Indian population is net savvy and is able to choose their life partners through online matrimonial services, for the rest of the Indian population a viable business models had been evolved to help them choose just the right bride or groom using nothing but IT tools again without them getting into the cyberspace, Sharma added.